rabbit-and-leek-pie-1

Rabbit and leek pie

By Christopher Taylor
Serves 4

1 leek - sliced

2 cloves garlic - peeled and finely sliced

500g boneless, diced rabbit meat - feel free to use rabbit mince instead

600ml rabbit stock

1 tablespoon mild mustard

2 tablespoons dried parsley leaves

freshly ground black pepper and salt to season

a little flour

2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry - thawed

a splash of milk

poppy seeds - optional

 

1 Heat a little oil in a large saucepan over a low flame. Add the sliced leek and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

2 Add the rabbit meat and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the stock, mustard and parsley leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Place the lid on the saucepan and simmer for 40 minutes, lifting the lid occasionally to stir.

3 Stir in the flour blended with a little stock or water. Simmer, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

4 Transfer contents of the saucepan to a large bowl to cool. Don’t worry if it seems a bit runny, as the mixture will thicken as it cools.

5 Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a pie pan with one of the sheets of pastry. Trim away any pastry that hangs over the side of the pan. Don’t stress if you tear it, as the excess you trim away from the lip of the pan can be used to patch up holes.

6 Pour the cooled filling into the pastry and then add the other sheet of pastry over the top. Trim away the excess pastry. Brush a little milk over the top of the pie and follow with a generous sprinkling of poppy seeds. Finally, use a skewer or the point of a small knife to poke a few holes in the lid of the pie. This will allow the steam to escape when the pie is cooking. Bake the pie for 40 minutes.

 

Hint
While store-bought chicken stock can be used in this recipe, you will get better results if you use the real stuff. Making rabbit stock is simple - throw in the bones, plus any leftover scraps (excluding the liver) into a stockpot or large saucepan. Add a few whole black peppercorns, a few cloves, a sprig of thyme, a quartered onion and just enough water to cover. Simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 hours. One rabbit carcass should give you about 1.2 litres of stock, the unused portion of which can be frozen and saved for rabbit risotto, rabbit soup, rabbit stew or another pie.